Thursday, June 7, 2012

Inspector Bellamy: If Agatha Christie were French

And those of you who have read the 1001 blog  know that is not an endorsement. First, why am I watching an obscure French film from 2009? Well, I have decided to work my way through my Netflix instant queue in order this summer. Why work through the queue? Because I have some fairly bizarre shit on there that I must have added for some good reason, and really there's no better time than the summer of my unemployment to wade my way through. And it is a version of clutter, which makes my Virgo self quite uncomfortable. Why in order? See Virgo self. I'm neurotic.

Why I added it: I think I thought it would be a charming country mystery. Gerard Depardieu stars as a retired Parisian inspector who solves a crime while on vacation. See? Charming! Shades of Hercule Poirot (who I know was a Belgie, not a Frenchie, but you catch my drift).

Should you add it? Well, imagine a charming country mystery that suffers a hostile takeover from a soporific French existential family drama. The inspector's cute quirks (loves gardening, talks over the day's clues with his beloved wife in bed) as he attempts to identify how the charred body of a homeless man turned up on the coast where he's vacationing, are quickly and irrevocably overwhelmed by the appearance of his ne'er-do-well brother and all the attendant angst. What could have been an enjoyable unraveling of the sloppy mess of adultery, insurance fraud, and radical plastic surgery that the inspector uncovers devolves into endless conversations about the Bellamy brothers' family dynamic. Yawn. The director, Claude Chabrol, is apparently a giant of French cinema, and this was his final film. So if you're a Chabrol completist, give it an add. If not, just re-read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. At least it has the decency to remain a murder mystery the whole way through.

1 comment:

  1. HA! Gerard Depardieu looks absurd with that gun in his hand.